Peggy Roberts was an actress who accidentally got pregnant. She didn’t know who his father was and felt that her baby, Dickie slowed her career down. She decided to further Dickie’s acting career by having him tryout for child parts daily regardless if it was a part for a girl. His mother only loved him when he had a successful acting job. He made it big when he joined the TV show called “The Glimmer Gang.” After seven years of being on TV, the show was canceled and his mother left him. Dickie became a troubled young man that was very rude and never stopped to help anyone unless it would help him.
While on a car trip with his girlfriend, Cindy, the car gets a flat tire. As Dickie begins changing the tire, the car falls off the cliff and explodes. His girlfriend hitches a ride and leaves him behind. When he gets back to civilization, he calls her but she never returns his calls. She thinks that even though he had a successful childhood career, that he is currently a road to nowhere.
He begins parking cars for a restaurant and is only hired because the owner felt sorry for him. He decides to borrow a car from the restaurant in search of opportunities to further his acting career. While driving he is very rude to a man and drives off. The man writes down the license plate, which actually belongs to Rob Reiner. He then bumps into Brenden Frasure who says he will see what he can do to get him an audition. Brenden comes through and has him visit the producer, Rob Reiner. He says that he would be perfect for the lead role physically but mentally he is missing his childhood. As a result, he is a troubled young man that cannot act appropriately for the part. In hopes of getting the part, he decides to hire a family to give him childhood experiences.
After visiting many strange situations, Dickie finds the Prune family. George, the father agreed to Dickie living with the family and then soon smooths it over with the rest of the family. At first, the family is tolerant of Dickie, but the children Sam and Sally call him stranger danger. As he moves in, he begins to fill his water bed. Sally and Sam warn him about the water wiggle game. Since he is not familiar with the game, he doesn’t take their warning seriously. He ends up wrestling with the hose as it beats him. Sam Comes to the rescue and turns off the water.
Dickie does not have an understanding of manners, which shows at dinner in George’s absence. He uses language that is not appropriate to use at the dinner table or in front of the children. When he comes back from the bathroom he overhears the family talking about how they don’t want him around and it is suggested that he spend the night in the tree house. So he makes the best of a bad situation and decorates the tree house and plays music. This attracts the kid’s curiosity and they see what he is up to. They decide that he is not so bad and stick around to tell ghost stories.
It begins to rain so they all go to bed inside the house. He begins having a nightmare. Grace, his new mother comes and wakes him up. Then she sings him to sleep. The next day, the kids break out the Slip’N’Slide. Since Dickie doesn’t have this experience, he tries it out before the water is turned on and gets a rug burn. He tries it once with the water turned on but decides that it is lame. He adds canola oil to spice things up and ends up through the fence.
The next morning, Dickie insists that Grace take him on a stroller ride. While riding down the street, they bump into their next door neighbor who is mad about the leaves from the Prune’s tree landing on their lawn. She then makes fun of Dickie in the stroller. Dickie stands up for himself and for Grace. Then a fan comes up and asks for a picture of Dickie. He gives him pictures of his private instead. He then decides to die his hair so that no one will recognize him.
Dickie walks to Sam and Sally’s school to pick them up. He notices that a bunch of boys are picking on Sam so he makes fun of them. They never bother Sam again. They all get in their mom’s car and make a quick stop for her graphic design interview. She couldn’t find the house so Dickie decides to improvise by calling the fire department, which leads them straight to the house. As a result, Grace decides to kick him out for being irresponsible. As she is kicking him out the water bed pops. They take the argument outside. The next door neighbors yell at them for yelling in the lawn. This time Grace stands up for herself and insults them. After the offended neighbors go inside, the dog, Popeye brings a dead rabbit home. It is owned by the same neighbors that were just insulted. They quickly clean it and put it back it the outdoor cage. The neighbors find the rabbit in the cage and freak out. The rabbit died two days ago and was buried. They move because of the devil rabbit which takes Dickie out of the doghouse for a while.
The next day a moving truck moves in a new family with one child named Barbie. Sam falls in love with her but doesn’t talk to her. Dickie breaks the ice between the two and then decides to learn how to ride a bike.
While getting ice for his bumps from the bike ride, he makes a deal with Grace. He will do whatever it takes if she promises to help him be a child. She first demands that he take off his sanitary gloves that he has been wearing for ten years. George, the father comes home and is mad about Dickie’s hair because he arranged for Dickie to do a commercial for his car business and storms out. Then they have a realistic conversation about how George is always gone and feelings that the marriage is falling apart.
That night, Dickie helps Sally with a dance routine for a school tryout, which she aces. That night his girlfriend, Cindy visits. George says she can stay since he is attracted to her. Dickie on the other hand doesn’t want her there. He feels it will get in the way of his learning and he is still mad about her leaving him in the desert and not returning his calls. So he begins being klutzy to get her to leave. He even pops her in the head with a cork and talks about the kids all the time. She leaves.
The next morning, the family fakes a Christmas morning with a red bicycle. Dickie tries to be excited, but doesn’t feel it. Then the family surprises him with his favorite game, Candyland. He now knows what it is like to feel like a kid on Christmas morning.
Will Dickie get the part in the movie with all his effort? Watch and find out.